Tips For Refinishing Your Cabinetry

Thank you, thank you, thank you
so much to everyone who stopped by last week to check out our kitchen all gussied up!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate all your sweet comments!  To be able to share before and afters with you makes the whole process of fixing up a house a lot more fun!

I received a lot of questions about how we improved the space and thought I'd share some tips with those of you who are interested.  I am by no means a painting expert, but I have done many a home improvement project in the four homes we've owned and learned some lessons along the way. 

The most important thing I can say is this: 
if you are going to put the time and effort into painting your cabinets, don't skimp on the prep work or you will be sorry in a few months' time when all your hard work results in this:
The existing paint was chipping off the cabinets everywhere because the former owners painted right over the oak cabinetry without properly preparing them.  I highly recommend sanding and priming any wood or painted surface as a prerequisite to painting. 

Lightly sand and then prime with an oil-based product.  I despise oil based paint so very much - it's messy and stinky - but there is nothing like an oil-based primer for durability!  While we have tried other primers, we always come back to Kilz. 

As with any spray paint, make sure you shake your can thoroughly before using.

I removed our cabinet doors and had my very cute assistant help me take off the hinges and knobs.

I sprayed the doors on empty boxes in my basement. 
(Notice that even the walls in the unfinished basement are painted PEACH - what was with the former owner's obsession with this color?  Maybe they got a good deal on big batch of mistinted paint!)

I used a small foam roller to prime the cabinet boxes and drawer fronts.

I sanded after priming and between coats of finish paint for a smooth, professional-looking job.  I also brush-painted the doors because we prefer this look to the finish of spray or the foam roller, using Benjamin Moore "Ben" Semi-Gloss latex paint in White Dove
This paint is desirable because it has low VOC and low odor, and we have been very happy with how it holds up on trim around our house.

Remember how I mentioned that while our kitchen didn't look so bad to begin with, it was actually in a bit of disrepair?  While the doors and drawer fronts are solid oak, the rest of the cabinetry is made of laminate and particle board and has not held up well in it's 26 years. 
I reinforced the drawers and did my best to get them rolling in and out smoothly.  I also sanded the edges of the cabinetry that the previous owner's pets had chewed, and they look perfectly fine now.

The best change was in this little box:
new satin nickel hardware! 
So much for a manicure!
I was all ready to buy new knobs, bin pulls and hinges at Lowes when Shannan recommended I try ebay, and do you believe I saved a whopping
$175.34 by going this route?!?!!  Prior to checking out ebay I had shopped around and thought Lowes' prices were not half bad compared to other hardware suppliers online, so I can't even begin to tell you how gleeful I was to find brands I recognized on ebay for so much less.  I chose Amerock hardware because I had held this brand in my hand in stores and knew the weight and the quality of the hardware.  I loved the pulls and decided to go with knobs and hinges from the same company to make sure the metals matched. 

Thanks so much to everyone for helping me decide on a hardware finish, especially Rene at Cottage & Vine who ultimately swayed me towards nickel with the argument that this finish is here to stay versus being a trend that might go out of style in a few short years. We love how the hardware reflects the light and are so happy with the end result!

If you are trying to decide on a direction for something like hardware or a color scheme, there are so many wonderful design blogs to consult.  I am by no means a designer so I scoped out the kitchens of bloggers whose styles I admire for inspiration.

A few more tips:
If you are baking cookies whilst painting cabinets, make sure said cookies are on a timer. 
The time can steal away from you when you are knee deep into a painting project!
And while you're busy fixing up your house and making it a cozy home, turn up the radio and rock out once in a while!

If you have any other questions about our kitchen "refresh" please leave a comment and I'd be happy to help! Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Guest Posting at Savory & Sweet

Happy friday my friends!  I had you with that picture above didn't I?

First of all I want to say thank you to all you wonderful folks who took the time to stop by and check out my kitchen.  I can't tell you how much your sweet comments warmed my heart.  While I don't think any decorating magazines are going to be calling me any time soon, refreshing our kitchen has gone a long way toward making us fall in love with our new home.  It's truly amazing what a little paint and elbow grease can accomplish. 

I'll be back soon with all the fun ins-and-outs of how, as my friend Colleen would say, we
put eyelashes on a pig.  *smile.  smiling's my favorite*

Today I'm over at Savory & Sweet talking chocolate - come join me and check out Amelia's fabulous new foodie blog!

Hoping you have a wonderful winter weekend....spring is right around the corner!


Our Kitchen, Refreshed and Revealed

I am so happy to introduce you to our freshened-up kitchen!
In true Lisa-fashion, I have dragged on a project for.ever, but I think it's safe to say this one is just about done (for 2011 anyway). 

The goal was to make this kitchen as pretty and functional as possible until the day when we do a major renovation and incorporate the kitchen and dining room space into one.  The previous owners did their best to remodel the 27 year old kitchen by painting the cabinets and adding Silestone countertops.  If you've been following along for a while you know that while Mark & I truly appreciate having a quartz countertop, the color - how do I put this delicately? - made us gag.  The sweet elderly couple that previously owned this abode loved a peachy colorscheme, and the bologna-colored countertops fit right in.  While "bologna" is not exactly a color we wanted to use in our house, we decided to work around this element, knowing that someday we'll have the opportunity to rip those suckers out and replace them with something dreamy.  (That's what we keep telling each other anyway.  Forget about the fact that college tuitions for three kids loom in the not-so-distant future!)

While the overall look of the kitchen before was not terrible, it felt dingy and outdated.  This is the truest representation of the color of the cabinetry before (below right). Not awful, just a bit tired and drab.  We chose Ben Moore's White Dove, a creamy white that compliments the off-white appliances, to brighten up the space.
Even more important than color was improving functionality. The bottoms were falling out of the drawers, the drawers didn't slide in easily, the knobs kept coming off in our hands, and the paint was chipping everywhere.  Not only did we want to refresh the space, but we wanted it to work better for our family of five.

Without further ado....

Before, at our home inspection before purchasing the house. 
The most amazing revelation to us is that just by changing the color of the cabinetry - which along with the walls and trim were various shades of a murky peach - the countertop color became more palatable. I'm feeling more terra-cotta now instead of bologna.

Originally, the trim that was not painted peach was natural, as you can see in the adjacent room. 
We've painted all the trim in the house white and it has made a huge difference.

Before:  you're looking at where I was about to spend about 3/4 of my life:

This before photo below is after we moved in, replaced the kitchen light and painted the walls, but hadn't painted the cabinets yet. 
It was already starting to feel like home, but I really wanted to brighten it up and make it a little less blah.

My favorite before and after is this area that we'll use as a bar when we entertain. 
 I took the doors off and painted inside the cabinets.  I'm still trying to decide what color to paint the back of this area.  I love seeing all our pretty glassware and having my some of my cookbooks handy in the open cabinetry over the fridge.
The real-life shot - we don't normally keep our liquor on the kitchen counter;  I just staged it for you, my dear guest!  When we are not entertaining, this nook hides our yucky but essential toaster oven, keys and junkety-junk that piles up in a kitchen.

Before:  I loved these little hardwired lights by the kitchen window the first time we saw the house.
After: the lights with simple white linen shades, illuminating the room at dusk.

A couple more afters:

I am so happy with how it turned out and feel like I can finally call this place our home.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
-John Howard Payne

Thanks for visiting - I'm so glad you came by!

With the hope that how we were able to make our kitchen work for us (despite bologna-colored countertops) may inspire someone else, I'm sharing our refreshed kitchen with these wonderful links this week!  Thank you so much for hosting, ladies!


My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Domestically Speaking

Show and Tell Green

SYS Thurs


Winner Winner Turkey Dinner

Does this not just bring a smile to your face?

Hi friends!  I hope you had a fun February weekend!
After a whole lotta basketball yesterday, we had a nice Sunday dinner and then cozied up on the couch to watch a little tv and enjoy a fire.
My little chickie loves to snuggle with her dad. 

We also did the drawing for my giveaway this week, and I am happy to say that one of you lovelies is now the owner of a print from goingplaces2!
We took the very technical route of printing out the comments and my littlest man, Seanie, chose a name out the basket.
Drumroll please.....
The winner is............
Congratulations, Rene!
If you haven't met Rene before you must check out her fabulous blog!

Thanks to all who entered the giveway.
there is happy news all around -

Ginger, the generous artist of these thoughtful and fun prints
at the Etsy shop goingplaces2 
is offering Shine Your Light readers a 20% discount
now through the end of February! 

Just enter coupon code SHINEYOURLIGHT when checking out.

I can't decide - there are so many cute ones and I LOVE the quotes Ginger uses!

Maybe I'll buy a bunch of magnets so I can enjoy them all! 

Thank you, Ginger, for sharing your fun and thoughtful art with me and with my readers!
You are truly a gem.

Happy day to all,